Dutch national undernutrition screening survey: patients with a positive undernutrition screening score stay 1.4 day longer in hospital

In The Netherlands, screening on undernutrition at admission is common practice in hospitals, using the Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (SNAQ) or the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST). Using the screening data of 13 hospitals of 2007-2014 two questions were answered:

1.     What is the percentage of  patients with screening score “undernutrition” in the general hospital population and per medical specialism.

2.     Are SNAQ/MUST score and Length of Hospital Stay (LOS) related?

In a large hospital population (564.083 patients) 14 to 15% of the population had a screening score “undernourished” varying per medical specialism from 2-38%. The Geriatric, Oncology, Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology ward had the highest prevalence of screening result ‘undernourished’. LOS of these patients was 1.4 days longer than patients with screening result ‘well-nourished’. 

These results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. You can read the article here.